The world’s largest coffeehouse chain, Starbucks, announced a major change to its iconic rewards program in an effort to ramp up its Web 3.0 presence. Interim CEO, Howard Schultz, revealed that Starbucks will soon launch a new “Web3 rewards program” to engage with customers and expand the “digital third place community”.
Starbucks is the latest conglomerate to join the Web3 bandwagon. In its third-quarter earnings call, the coffee chain giant proposed a digital transition from the traditional rewards program to a “new Web 3 enabled initiative”. According to Schultz, the initiative will empower Starbucks to build on its current rewards engagement model while also introducing new methods of emotionally engaging customers. He expressed,
“This new digital Web 3-enabled initiative will allow us to build on the current Starbucks Rewards engagement model with its powerful spend-to-earn Stars approach while also introducing new methods of emotionally engaging customers.”
Expansion into Web3 to Attract New Customers
As per the announcement, Starbucks, will launch the new digital initiative on September 13, during the company’s annual Investor Day event in Seattle. Schultz explained that part of the transormation, will include new rewards that can be redeemed with stars, like “one-of-a-kind experiences that you can’t get anywhere else” and “Starbucks-branded digital collectibles”. Schultz also said that the Web3 move is part of a push to attract and retain the younger side of Starbucks’ customer base. He reiterated,
“We don’t want to be in a business where our customer base is aging and we have a less relevant situation with younger people.”
This is not the first time Starbucks has dipped its toes in the Web3 pool. Earlier this year, Schultz, hinted to get into the non-fungible-token (NFT) business. In a statement, the company said that it is working on “digital innovation through NFTs and plans for continued evolution of partner benefits, with more detail expected in the months ahead.”
Starbucks just announced they are adding NFTs to their loyalty program
With 26 million members on their loyalty program already, Starbucks could create one America’s most used crypto wallets
Starbucks could move from being just a coffee company to a crypto company 😉
— GREG ISENBERG (@gregisenberg) May 4, 2022
Starbucks’ Tryst With Crypto
Starbucks already has payment partnerships with PayPal and Bakkt, which allow customers to reload their Starbucks card with a range of cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and others by converting digital currencies to physical currency.
Did you know you can reload your @Starbucks Card with bitcoin or cash using Bakkt? Link Bakkt as a payment method in the Starbucks app on iOS devices now through July 12 to receive a $5 Starbucks eGift! Terms apply. https://t.co/KSrZrWQ0d3 pic.twitter.com/eqGAnuIazf
— Bakkt (@Bakkt) July 7, 2021
In 2020. Starbucks launched a blockchain-enabled traceability feature that granted Starbucks customers the opportunity to trace their purchase “from bean to cup.” The technology enabled its customers to digitally “meet” the farmers who grow Starbucks’ raw coffee by scanning a code on their bag of beans.